In a move that could be considered bold, savvy, risky, or any combination of the three, the Young County Commissioners Court went for and received a last-minute, 30-day extension on a deadline to purchase cutting edge election equipment at a greatly reduced, early-adopter's price.

Hart Intercivic's new line of Verity election equipment is currently priced at $335,798. Initially, Hart told the court and Young County Elections Administrator Lauren Sullivan that the last day to purchase the package at the discounted price would be June 30.

From county officials' perspectives, a major consideration in the deal with Hart has been how much Young County can get for its 10-year-old equipment. Monday morning, Sullivan laid out the best selling options before the court, with an unofficial offer from Henderson County topping the list at approximately $80,000 for several dozen pieces of equipment.

“That would more than make up for the first year's payment,” Sullivan told the court, adding that she's received offers from other counties for parts of the equipment or the whole package, but none have yet been official.

Sullivan said that since she is going to a conference in Austin next week, she would like to expand her networking opportunities in search of the best possible selling scenario for Young County.

“I don't think we'll have any problem getting buyers for this equipment,” she told the court. “The price I have in my mind, in total, is about $105,000, and that's for everything.”

After a brief discussion on selling options, County Commissioner Mike Sipes asked Sullivan exactly what aspects of the discounted Hart contract go up in price after the June 30 deadline.

“The immediate thing that we know would go up would be the PCs that are configured in the Verity Count software... Those have already gone up to $5,600 each from $3,000,” Sullivan explained. “They'd also knock off the special county discount, which is about $13,000. And the three year extended warranty which equals about $20,000 (goes away).”

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.